Cost of Living Support

Understanding Economic Abuse

Far too many women experience the impact of Economic Abuse. Solace is here to help women stop paying the price of poverty.

What is economic abuse?

Economic abuse is a form of abuse where one partner is in control of the other partner’s money and economic resources. It can also involve the abuser using the victim’s finances without consent, resulting in a loss of savings or the creation of debt. This form of domestic abuse can also result in significant control, creating a strict financial allowance for the victim. This can lead to the victim having to rely on the abuser financially, making it very difficult for the victim to escape the relationship. Some people may also refer to financial abuse. The main difference between the two is economic abuse has a wider definition because more controlling techniques are used such as restricting transport, clothing, education and employment rather than just money

Am I suffering from economic abuse?

Economic abuse is a very common form of abuse. The questions below can be used to help you identify whether you may be experiencing economic abuse. Does your partner do any one of the following:

  1. Stop you from working?
  2. Take out debts in your name?
  3. Withhold payments from you?
  4. Control your income or benefit payments?
  5. Steal your money or damage your things?
  6. Stop you opening your own bank account?
  7. Restrict access to education or learning opportunities?
  8. Refuse access to freedoms such as a phone or car?
  9. Enforce a strict financial allowance?

Advice if you are planning to leave

If you are planning to leave you may not feel able to leave immediately, but you can plan and be prepared for when an emergency does arise, and you need to leave your home. Leaving is often the most dangerous time so plan leaving so you can increase your safety. You can:

  • Keep a record of the violent and controlling behaviour to support any future action you may take – civil or criminal.
  • Log incidents with the police, even if you do not want to press charges at present (numbers for borough CSUs or a link to the met website for the information).
  • Seek legal advice (Solace Advice can give you numbers of Solicitors, Rights of Women / Community Legal Service Directory link/ National DV Helpline).
  • Have any bruises or injuries recorded by a doctor for future use in any legal proceedings, rehousing procedures, etc. You can also take a picture using a camera or your mobile phone. Solace can also do this for you.
  • Have a packed bag ready and keep it in a secret, but accessible place so you can leave quickly.
  • Keep important documents in a safe place, either hidden in your home with friends / family (e.g., marriage / birth certificates, national insurance card, passport, driving licence etc,) including items of sentimental value, so that they can be grabbed in a hurry.
  • Only tell people you trust where you will be. Lie if you have to – this will protect you and them.

The following items will be useful but are not essential for you to take if you decide that you want to leave in a hurry. Remember we can always help you to get these items later and with police support:

  • ID – passports, birth / marriage certificate, NI number, driving licence etc.
  • Money – bank / credit cards.
  • Medical – prescribed medicines, prescriptions, medical cards, children’s medical records.
  • Legal – injunctions, divorce papers, mortgage documents, tenancy agreement.
  • Special Items: photos, child’s favourite toy, house and car keys.
  • Always try to take your children with you or make arrangements to leave them with someone safe.

Remember: If the last number you called was a refuge, taxi or the place you are going to stay, dial another number – for example, the Speaking Clock (dial 123)

Get Help

Phone the police on 999 if in immediate danger

Surviving Economic Abuse Financial Support Line: 0808 1968845

24 Hour National Domestic Violence Hotline: 0808 2000 247

Solace Advice Line: 0808 802 5565

See what state benefits you can access through online calculators: Policy in Practice Entitled to Turn2us

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